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Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)
DVD & Digital Copy Included
DVD + Blu-ray + Digital
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Disney’s fantastical adventure Oz The Great And Powerful, from the director of the Spider-Man trilogy,follows Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics. When Diggs is hurled away to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot — until he meets three witches (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams), who aren’t convinced he’s the great wizard everyone’s expecting. Reluctantly drawn into epic problems facing Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it’s too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity — and even some wizardry — Oscar transforms himself into the great wizard and a better man as well.
For sheer visual splendor, Oz the Great and Powerful is hard to beat. Even before the hot-air balloon of carnival magician Oscar "Oz" Diggs (James Franco) gets swept up in a tornado and hurled to the Technicolor land of Oz, the sepia tones of Kansas have a lush, almost velvety texture. Once Diggs arrives in Oz, he learns of a prophecy that he might be the wizard to free the land from the grips of a tyrannical witch--and from there, the movie juggles visual delights with a story that is regrettably half-baked. Some sequences and characters are skillfully realized (a little girl made of china is perfectly developed, both visually and narratively), while others seem propped up like cardboard cutouts. (Unavoidable comparisons to The Wizard of Oz, a masterpiece of vividly drawn characters, don't help.) Franco doesn't have the theatricality one might want for a carnival huckster, but fortunately his low-key performing style helps to ground the bright spectacle in human emotions. As witches wicked and good, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams all display charm and verve. The movie is flawed, but when Oz the Great and Powerful hits a right note, merging wonder and fear, dazzle and darkness, it's easy to forgive the weaknesses. --Bret Fetzer
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Top customer reviews
First off, it's beautiful. The 3D SFX were nicely done in IMAX and the Blu-ray transfer looks good. Oz is colorful as ever you'd wish, and even on the main menu screen, things come out of the screen in a quite satisfactory way. There is a bit of ghosting in some of the bright against dark scenes, but probably less than in the average transfer.
So, on to the story (no spoilers if you've seen all the trailers). We have to face it - Gregory Maguire owns this space, and if you've visited the Wickedverse part of your mind will be expecting Theodora and Evanora to be Elphaba and Nessarose and, well, they're not. Nor could they be. Maguire's sex and politics take on Oz is fascinating, but hardly good family entertainment. I think Disney have done a very credible job of respinning this story to make it interesting for grownups and for kids. It's not great art, but the plot should make the two hours move right along.
Especially given the likes of Mesdames Kunis, Weisz and Williams as our three favorite witches. Kunis is great, Weisz does just fine with a smaller role that would tempt anyone else over the line into parody. Williams makes the most of what is, inevitably, a bit of a saccharine part. Let's face it, Glinda's not Marilyn.
But, to me, James Franco just didn't carry the Oz role. I truly expect to get beat up by the Francophiles but really, even tho' he used all three of his facial expressions, he didn't sell me. Okay, they spent their money on SFX, so let's not expect Depp or Damon. But I kept thinking: what if they got somebody good from TV like Dylan Bruce, or Tony Starr, or (be still my beating heart) Alexander Skarsgard to do this?
All in all, I do think the ladies carry the day, and the film, and make it well worth the coin.
Now, as to Disney's "failure" to provide a 2D Blu-ray or DVD in the box.... I didn't need it, and if you have a smart tv with Amazon or Hulu plus, or an Apple TV hooked to your TV, you don't either. Redeeming the download via iTunes yielded not only a really nice 1080p transfer suitable for TV or tablet viewing, but also some bonus materials. When is this a problem? If you spent the extra $800 to get a disc player in the back of the mini van instead of springing for the iPad or Kindle Fire to entertain the kids. In which case, yes, you can be upset you did not get your DVD or 2D Blu-ray. But instead of plunking down $20 for those 2D copies now, do consider saving up for a next gen tablet. It will be worth it. And, let's face it, unless there is a special incentive like 3D, the days of inserting a chunk of media in a player are numbered.
Seeing Jackie from "That 70s Show" become the wicked green witch - who woulda thunk it?
If you start an Oz movie collection: get "Oz The Great & Powerful", "The Wizard of Oz" and the lesser known "Return To Oz".
Slow start to the movie but it picks up pace and turns out to be pretty entertaining. Some sketchy acting here and there and you have to do a little thinking to connect the director's interpretation of the connections to Wicked and The original Oz, but overall at the end, it was a cool movie to watch and visually entertaining.
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